Where should you hang out and what kind of guys will you find at the Coachella Music Festival next year?
Sorry, ladies, but your opportunity to meet a Kings of Leon-loving hipster at Coachella this year is officially over. The three-day festival is calling it a year tonight at 10:30 with what’s sure to be an epic set from Kanye West. This depresses me. Coachella is one of my favorite times of the year. Great bands, a good vibe and music lovers coming together from all over the USA. What could be better? However, navigating through the sea of this party scene can be daunting, especially if you have a limited amount of time in between shows. Here’s what to know before you go!
The Empire Polo Club in Indio, CA where Coachella is held annually is massive, and you are going to be upset if you don’t have at least one concrete wingwoman. So grab your best pal, a map and a beer and prepare yourself for some wicked music and some sinfully sexy men. First, think about what kind of artists you like and about the men who listen to what you like. For example, this year, Robyn, one of my favorite singers, played at the Mojave tent. Although I adore Robyn, if I were going for the specific purpose of meeting guys I’d be shit out of luck, as Robyn is universally beloved by gay men.
- Coachella Stage: Where you’ll find your headlining artist like The Strokes, Duran Duran and Arcade Fire, all of whom played this year. It’s a clusterf**k — you’ll be less likely to meet someone unless you’re literally pushed into him, which could be kind of hot…
- Outdoor Theatre: Secondary acts like Brandon Flowers, Crystal Castles and Empire of the Sun play here. The guys are slightly more indie, but it’s still a popular spot for nearly everyone.
- Gobi: Here’s where you’ll find your up-and-comers like Marina & the Diamonds, Neon Trees and She Wants Revenge. The guys that come to this area are musically in-the-know and pretty damn hipster. Expect a lot of sweaty T-shirts and plaid (I love this place).
- Mojave: I love the Mojave area, and I still can’t figure out what it is; it tries to be a lot of things to a lot of festival-goers. You’ll find random acts from everyone to The Scissor Sisters to the uber-romantic The Swell Season to soulful sexpot Ryan Leslie. If you like a band that’s playing a Mojave, just go. At least you know you’ll have something in common with the guys that hang there at the specific time you go!
- Sahara: If you’re into ravers, this is where you should hang. Big name DJs like Steve Angello, Erick Morillo and Paul van Dyk spin here.
- Oasis: The smaller DJ tent, for those who just want to dance their faces off. No prior DJ knowledge required here, although you may just be able to say in a few year’s time, “Remember when Kode 9 played Coachella?”
- VIP: Where you’ll find men who had $400 more to spend on a VIP ticket that allows them access to better beer gardens and slightly better views (so not worth the money, in my opinion). You’ll also seek the celebs you’re looking for here, like vampire boys Alexander Skarsgard of True Blood or Twilight‘s Kellan Lutz. And no, they do not just come out at night.
- BEER GARDENS: There are several beer gardens and booze tents at the festival, and although they’re crowded, I think this is a prime spot to meet men. You’re in a confined space with a plethora of marvelous-looking music-lovers and there’s alcohol and inhibition involved. How could you possibly go wrong?
DIESEL ISLAND/BELVEDERE MUSIC LOUNGE: This is an aggressive scene, but the only party that happens to feed you brunch. While DJs spin, your scantily clad competition will frolic in teensy weensy string bikinis. I found there to be far more women then men here, and the men were all a little too oily, a little too sceney and not at all Coachella in the slightest. However, everyone that hits up this party is model perfect-looking, so there you go. To each her own.
KROQ’S ARTIST HOUSE: One of my favorite spots at Coachella. There are intimate live performances from headlining bands like Mumford & Sons as well as the standard beer and booze, and the guys that hang out at this LA-based alt-rock radio station’s house are totally musically minded, as could be expected. It’s small enough that you can have a great discussion with someone, but your options are pretty limited to the grungy set.
LACOSTE LIVE’S COACHELLA POOL PARTY: An excellent, excellent time. There are several pools, shaded cabanas, Coachella kits with deodorant, sunscreen and lip balm, food trucks and fit, fit guys. The vibe here is more chilled out but still a bit too cool-for-school. I caught Adrian Grenier hanging out with a bevy of ladies and thought, “How fitting.” The perfect way to describe Lacoste is a place where not only Vinnie Chase would feel comfortable hanging out, but his whole Entourage crew as well. And that includes Turtle.
OASIS BEACH CLUB: Oasis typically takes place at a major mansion. There’s food, drinks and a blow-up castle for drunken shenanigans. There are, of course, pools. However, although there are some big name DJs like Roger Sanchez who play the nighttime parties, I’ve always found this particular party to be much more enjoyable in the day time. It’s a hot day spot, and a downright awesome way to kickoff and end the festival. However, on Saturday night, I’d definitely do this (following) party instead…
ARMANI EXHANGE & 944 MAGAZINE’S NEON CARNIVAL: Hands down, the best party at Coachella. There are carnival rides, prizes, great music, celebrities, games and food (yummy stuff like cotton candy). Everything is neon (duh). There are bumper cars, a ferris wheel and slides. You can win giant stuffed animals that you’ll leave on the floor. There’s incredible music. There are the hottest celebs of the moment hanging out with you, like Glee’s Mark Salling (my new buddy) and Chord Overstreet, The Vampire Diaries‘ Ian Somerhalder and even Rihanna. And I haven’t even started on the MEN yet. The guys are ridiculous! I was like a kid in a guy candy store: I literally didn’t know where to look, because everywhere I turned I was staring at someone hot. The vibe is very LA-cool and very Hollywood-meets-Venice (re: sceney but still cool). It goes on until 5 and I wish that I had lasted up until the very last second it shut. Trust me, this is high praise. I’m not a fan of industry parties in the slightest; it usually takes a solid amount of tequila lubrication and some arm wrestling to make me go. But — dare I say it? — this is an amazing, amazing event that’s worth going to Indio for — even if you don’t have a ticket to the concert.
I hope this helped, girls.Good luck going forth and conquering next year!